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Questions Of The Day (7-13)

Employment Contracts ACT (much disorder) - Nutrition Survey And Poverty - Agriculture Research - Ascot Hospital - Auckland Mayors - Violent Crime - Wanganui Prison Escape

Questions For Oral Answer Thursday, 26 August 1999

The following are paraphrases of today's questions for oral answer. They are not complete or official, the official record of Parliamentary proceedings is Hansard, which is not finalised some days after the event.

Question 7.

Patricia Schnauer to the Minister for Enterprise and Commerce:

Q: Has he received any reports regarding the impact on workers covered by collective agreements if the negotiating right was removed from employers and employees and given exclusively to trade unions?

A: In tonight's Evening Post Helen Clark says that workers will have to belong to unions to belong to a collective contract. Turn to page 3 of the paper and you will see for yourself….

(POINTS OF ORDER: Trevor Mallard - Labour - there is no such story he is making it up.

Bradford -try reading the first edition.

Michael Cullen - Labour - we have had enough of tendacious statements from ministers. Bradford: I am happy to table two articles at the end of my answer confirming what I am saying.

Michael Cullen - I have read the article and it does not say what he says. We are tired of lies and stooges of the Employers Federation………MAJOR DISORDER……..

Speaker - order, order, Dr Cullen lost control of himself members cannot handle this question we will go to question 8.

Roger Sowry - Leader of House: Will he withdraw and apologise.

Michael Cullen - Labour: I will not sir, I will not listen to tory lies any longer.

Sowry - The event that has just taken place has brought this chamber into disrepute.

Speaker - I do not need any further help.

Ron Mark - NZ First - The crux and core of the problem is a question of honour. We are all honourable members and to avert the situation can the minister please underline the statement he is referring to and hand it to the clerk so we can all see what has happened.

Speaker - Dr Cullen has said things he cannot say. He will be required to withdraw and apologise. We will now move however to question 8.

Rodney Hide - ACT - The disorder has all been on the other side why should we be penalised.

Speaker - I have a wider responsibility than that , I want no further discussion)

(Bradford later sought leave to table articles from the Evening Post and Herald and was delayed by further points of order before being refused leave. )

(Later, after question 9, Michael Cullen was asked by the Speaker to apologise for making accusations of lies. He refused to do so "for the honour of his leader". Under standing order 88, Michael Cullen was declared disorderly by the speaker and a party vote was then held on suspending him from the house. The vote went against Cullen by 71 to 46. He was then, the Speaker said, "suspended from the services of the house and will leave".)

Question 8.

Steve Maharey to the Associate Minister of Health Tuariki Delamere:

Q: Does he accept that the evidence of the recent survey of nutrition which states that fourteen percent of New Zealanders run out of food because of lack of money shows that there is significant poverty in New Zealand; if so, when will the Government put in place programmes to relieve this poverty?

A: No I do not accept that because it is not true. I am far more concerned about the findings concerning obesity and the shortage of calcium in many women's diets. (To Steve Maharey - Labour) No I have not seen reports about Christchurch food banks. I am surprised the opposition is trying to distort the findings in this report. This survey is helpful because it gives us a baseline against which we can measure future performance.

Question 9.

Warren Kyd to the Minister for Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control John Luxton:

Q: What part does agriculture play in the knowledge economy?

A: The government focus on in the Bright Future package is all about adding value and technology in the agricultural sector. Agriculture provides three quarters of New Zealand's export income and will remain the backbone of the New Zealand economy in the future.

Q: (Warren Kyd - National) How will it effect agricultural research?

A: Of the money in the package for research $86 million is new money, some other is transferred from the PGSF - this will enable us to focus us on added value research rather than commodity research.

Q: (Jim Sutton - Labour) Why then has National stopped a climate programme valuable to North Otago from receiving funding?

A: That project can apply for funding like any other can. The important thing is to focus research funding on adding value.

Question 10.

Hon. Annette King to the Minister of Health Wyatt Creech:

Q: As Ascot Integrated Hospital had no medical service record when it was awarded the orthopaedic contract by the Health Funding Authority, what steps did the Health Funding Authority take to monitor the performance of Ascot Integrated Hospital and is he satisfied these steps were sufficient to ensure all public patients received a safe and quality service?

A: I am advised by the HFA that a high standard of care is required from all hospitals. The Ascot contract requires the hospital to act in accordance with standards. The HFA believes it has met these standards.

Q: Is he aware that a woman attempted three times to lay a complaint. She was referred by the HFA to Ascot Hospital and then to the surgeon where she was told she was "imagining it"?

A: Again we have the question of a detailed question following a general one. There are a number of assertions in the question upon which I do not have detail. I can advise the member that as far as the primary question is concerned there are appropriate safeguards.

Question 11.

Gilbert Myles to the Prime Minister Jenny Shipley:

Q: Will the Government be taking any action in reply to the recommendations, including changes to local government legislation, contained in the Auckland Region Mayoral Forum Pre-General Election Statement?

A: (Wyatt Creech on behalf) I understand that the Mayoral forum is working on its statement today. When I have received it I will reply to it. We have a number of programmes underway to deal with social circumstances throughout the country. The PM has not seen the report and so cannot comment on it.

(Jonathan Hunt - leave sought to table the mayoral forum document - granted. Ron Mark later raised a point of order claiming that the PM had a copy of the statement under embargo since Monday. )

Question 12.

Mr Frank Grover to the Minister of Justice Tony Ryall:

Q: As British Home Office figures state that New Zealand now has the world's second highest violent crime rate after South Africa, and there are reported clear links between alcohol abuse and violent crime in this country, what measures is the Government taking to reduce the dangers arising from those links?

A: There are some fundamental differences in the definition of violent crime in various countries in the survey referred to. New Zealand includes minor violent crime in its statistics. If this is excluded then our violent crime rate would be halved and would be lower than Canada's. Alcohol plays a part in much violent crime. We have a number of programmes to deal with this.

(Frank Grover - leave sought to table article from New Zealand Herald - leave granted.)


Urgent question from Harry Dynhoven - Labour - to Minister of Corrections Clem Simich

Q: Following revelations that a markedly dangerous prisoner has escaped from Wanganui prison and has now claimed that he has committed murder in New Plymouth what is he doing about it?

A: Following recent escapes from Wanganui prison a review of security has been undertaken and razor wire has been installed. The government is inquiring into the placement of this prisoner in this prison. Steps have been taken at this minimum security prison and the success of it as an institution depends on the successful classification of prisoners to be housed there.

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